National University and University of Santo Tomas Retain Titles in UAAP Season 86 Tennis Championships

MANILA — In a display of resilience and skill, National University (NU) secured its third consecutive women's championship, while University of Santo Tomas (UST) continued its dominance in the men’s division of the UAAP Season 86 tennis tournament. The event, which concluded on Sunday, was hosted at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center within the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

According to Philippines News Agency, NU's women's team overcame a shaky start to clinch a 3-2 victory against UST, highlighted by Elise Abarquez's decisive win over UST's Justine Maneja with scores of 6-3, 6-0 in the third singles match. NU's team captain, Allyssa Mae Bornia, reflected on the team's journey to victory, emphasizing the importance of their loss in the first tie as a crucial wake-up call that galvanized the team to overcome their challenges.

UST's attempt to usurp the women's title seemed promising initially, as they led the championship with Alexei Santos and Rookie of the Year Kaye Emana securing early victories in their respective matches. However, NU made a strong comeback with Bornia and Alliah Ragunton's crucial doubles victory, followed by wins from Danna Abad and Rovie Baulete, which leveled the championship at 2-2 before Abarquez's match-winning performance.

In the men's division, UST successfully defended its title against Ateneo de Manila University with a 3-1 score. The victory began with a setback as Noy Seno of Ateneo defeated Christopher Sonsona. However, UST swiftly reversed their fortunes, winning the next three matches to secure the championship. UST's triumphant streak was bolstered by the efforts of Steven Sonsona, Nilo Ledama, Ericjay Tangub, and the duo of Richard Bautista and Nash Agustines, showcasing the team's depth and strategic preparation.

Reflecting on the pressure to retain their titles, UST's assistant coach and renowned national player Johnny Arcilla commended the team's extensive preparation. He also revealed plans for scouting new talent at the upcoming Cebu Palarong Pambansa in July, indicating a forward-looking approach to sustaining the team's success.

In defeat, Ateneo's coach, Gee Abacan, expressed pride in his team's performance throughout the school year, acknowledging UST's superior performance in the championship.

With the conclusion of the UAAP Season 86 tennis tournament, both NU and UST have solidified their status as powerhouses in collegiate tennis, setting the stage for the next season's anticipated challenges and triumphs.